November 23, 2013

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE (Furia Contra Maquinia). Two modeling interpretations of the same illustration

I was both blown away and fascinated by the Gold Medal winning WWI diorama Rage Against the Machine by Roger Hurkmans when I first found it on the web. Then it was featured in Military Model Craft International magazine's March 2013 issue in which Roger details how he created this magnificent diorama basically from scratch. The diorama was inspired by the illustration "RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE (Furia Contra Maquina)" by Italian illustrator Fortunino Matania from his book With the British Army on the Western Front: twelve signed artist's proofs. London: The Sphere & Tatler ; [1916]. Deep down I knew creating something like this was only a pipe dream and way beyond my modeling skills until all of a sudden along comes Andrea Miniatures with a similar interruption of the same illustration created for the mass modeling market Tank Fight on the Western Front, 1916 and the accompanying book– written by Julio Cabos and called Tank Fight, 1916 which shows you a step-by-step process on how to paint the ground work, figures and the tank. While not cheap by any standards this beautifully crafted diorama kit has awakened that pipe dream on of mine again. So many great kits so little time…. 

A brief look at the story that inspired the illustration…

The British Mark IV tank, named after tinned meat “Fray Bentos” was stranded away from its accompanying infantry support in the 3rd battle of Ypres. The Germans saw the plight of the stranded nine men in their tank and attacked with everything they had including heavy guns, infantry and pioneers with explosives. They could not beat the crew into submission over a period of 72 hours and the beleaguered tankers escaped (with their Lewis gun as was the standing order of the time)

The crew survived for three days by drinking the water from the radiator and fending off the German attacks by night and day (and even from the direction of their own lines to try to fool them) by using their small arms and the Lewis gun that could be brought to bear. The main guns were rendered useless by the angle they were fixed at.

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